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Friday, September 9, 2011

Playin’ not Trainin’

If I do so declare myself, Thursday was THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA             With the boys back in school, I wouldn’t be able to hit the trails at Aliso/Wood Canyons until late morning.  Therefore, I decided that today’s trail running was a day for playin’, not for trainin’.

I also tried out the New Balance low profile 101’s for the first time on this hottest day of the year.  With all my shoes I take out the insoles because they have arch support, and I don’t want to add more arch support to  my orthotics.  But these shoes’ insoles had no arch support whatsoever.  I decided to leave them in, hoping to enjoy the cushion.   SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I literally wound my way in and out of my favorite trails: Wood Creek, Coyote Run, Dripping Cave.  Pretty quickly in the park, after a slew of cyclists passed me on their way out, I didn’t see a single soul on the trails for miles.  They’d have to be PSYCHO to run in this heat. 

A delightfully shady entrance to Dripping Cave TrailSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Dripping Cave has been one of my favorite trails for a long time.  AnSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           d I’ve also tried on occasion to catch a photo of me sitting in one of the overgrown trees with gnarly roots above ground (great stairs).  Mice poked their heads out of the root crevices as I climbed up these roots to get up on the cliff and set up my camera.  The problem with catching this photo is I’ve only got ten seconds once I click the button to slide down the small cliff, hop up into the tree, walk onto the branch and sit down.  Not an easy feat.  But since today was a day of playin’ and not trainin’ I wasted about ten shots before I finally got a decent one. 

Of course I had to stop at Dripping Cave and goof around a bit there.  Same problem here of course.  Only ten seconds to run across the bridge and pose.  It was a lot easier than the tree pose though.


By the time I reached the end of Wood Canyon it really felt like I was running in a furnace.  The outhouse was a downright OVEN.  I could barely stand it.  Actually, I thought it was probably pretty safe to keep the door open, as not a single soul traversed the trails.  The little guy (photo below) found a nice HOT refuge.  I shot the photo below then flew out that oven door to find a county worker in knee high rubber boots waiting to clean the outhouse.  I quickly tucked away my camera, lest he wonder what the heck I was doing in there.  LOL.


While Wood Canyon was a furnace, Meadows was an INFERNO.  I took the handkerchief filled with ice out of my pack and put it on top of my head, beneath my cap to make that run. I ran the entire way, my feet feeling like I was wearing winter wool socks.  

Running up Meadows with pack of ice beneath my hatSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Trail runner’s worst nightmare if she’s not paying attentionSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I liked the shoes.  They were comfortable and definitely promoted a mid-fooSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           t strike.  But by the time I reached the top of Meadows, my feet were BURNING UP.  I ran straight to the kiosk and found two other psychos, females on bikes cooling off in the shade.  I tore off my shoes and ripped out the insoles and after chatting with the women, continued on my run.  With the ice melted, I took the handkerchief out and draped it over my head.  As I made my way up the next climb into Top of the World, I noticed another psycho  runner making his way in my direction.  I stopped at the top of the hill to look closer and recognized the runner’s floppy hat.  It was Jeffrey!  (The guy I ran in with at Saddleback Marathon).

Delighted to have company we ran together across Top of the World, then West Ridge.  That’s where I turned off onto Mathis for my brilliant plan for a steep run down and more climbing. 

Running West Ridge with JeffreySANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I do not exaggerate when I say that running down Car Wreck with direct sun blaring down on me felt like I was running alongside a roaring fire.  My goodness!  I could not wait until I reached the bottom where I’d finally hit shade.  My handkerchief was dry, but I still had plenty of fluids in my pack after refilling at Top of the World.  Fortunately, I came upon several Orange County Conservation Corps workers and they very kindly allowed me to use their ice-cold water to cool down my head and drench my handkerchief.  They were all wearing long sleeves and pants, and all laughed out loud when I answered a question.  One young man asked how long I had been running.  My answer, 3 hours (of course there were the climbing tree and cave and top of Meadows breaks). 

The climb back up to the ridge via Mathis was plain old TORTUOUS.  I took out my 20 oz. Gatorade which was a block of ice when I put it in.  With the ice melted, it was still cool and certainly helped me get up that exposed climb.  Though hot, I was not heat exhausted and ran West Ridge and Cholla trail in.  I drank my very last amount of fluids with only about a quarter mile left.

Running West Ridge, Santiago Peak in the distanceSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Miles logged Thursday morning:  12.67.  I was a bit fatigued and wanted to take a nap.  But after getting all our boys home,  ALL THE POWER WENT OUT.  If you live anywhere in the vicinity, you definitely know (it was all the news) that everyone lost power from South Orange County all the way down into some of Mexico and all the way to the Arizona border – that’s huge.  Ours was out from 3:30 til about 11 PM. 

Elevation Profile:My Activities Aliso Wood Play in Heat Stroke Weather! 9-8-2011, Elevation - Distance


  1. You are way hard core Lauren! I put off my run because of the heat and humidity.

    True story - I was in a casino at the time the power went out in North San Diego County (over by Temecula). No water, no food, no air conditioning. But every slot machine worked for the duration! I guess they know where the money comes from!

  2. I think I'm beginning to love running in the heat, it's a very odd thing.

    What also is very odd (or rather funny) is that the slot machines still worked during the blackout! LOL